Last week was an easy week at work, and this week also, because of the Chinese New Year.
The past two weeks I've been preparing for As. 1, even though I have not finished my exercises write-up for all the material up to As. 1. I really need to finish this soon.
I really enjoyed doing the more creative images for As. 1, as I felt that the exercises towards it were way too technical, athough I could probably have tried to make it a touch mroe creative, and get something more out of it.
I do tend to go for architecture, as I recently feel less enhuiasitic about doing 'macro' kind stuff at home, it feels like I want to keep myself from staying at home, or just ending up taking photos of stuff at home, and want to challenge myself a bit outside.
The SIP (Suzhou Indusrial Park) area where I live, is rather new, and modern, and I tend to find abstract lines and material for photos there... I am looking forward to spring and summer, where the gardens will be much nicer to go to, and public spaces will be much more pleasant. I know it's not an excuse to not go out, but at the moment it is a little not so nice.
Anyway.. the next few days I really have to finish the write-ups for Ex.s not done, as well as the As. 1, which I have set a deadline for before the end of Feb.
At the moment I'm quite happy with the images I have processed for the As, although I tend to change my mind
Strange and not yet crazy, but not productive day. I managed to type up all the text, and post the exercises on MSN, and do some house cleaning regards to file keeping and structures.
I need to redo Ex. 8 and 9, as the images just didn't come out right.
I also decided to change the amount and layout of the website, and not keep all the photographs from exercises online.. there are too many, and too many ones that is really not worth putting online. Most are technical, and boring.
From tomorrow work is king, so will probably not work on this until next week.
Happy, but tired, for now.
Sent away DPP for assessment today, so now there is absolutely NO reason for me not to begin with TAOP. I've already got all the photos for exercised up to (but not yet) As. 1, so for the next few days, its project TAOP Start!
Well done me!
Things I need to do:
1. sort out hard drive and folders
2. start the arch file
3. start mind book word document in word doc.
4. plan and set up date for As. 1 shoot
Ideas for As. 1 shoot - (Very few at the moment, but thinking of doing the whole series in monochrome, as this has been my mindset the past few days. Also just finished watching some of Ted Forbes' podcasts a
Today I got back to Suzhou, after my short break in 'DongBei' - the 'east-north' of China - a short trip to Harbin, with the purpose to kick off TAOP, As. 1.
I came back with no images for the assignment as such, so feel little down. But I did have an excellent trip, and a wonderful experience, and I will post a selection of edited images in my main website dewaldbothaphotography.weebly.com later.
For the next few weeks, 2 at least, TAOP will take a back seat again, as it's time to get my DPP material ready for shipment, for March assessment.
I've been to the south of China, Hong Kong and Shenzhen, living in the east, Suzhou, been to the west, Deqing in Yunnan, and the furthest north I've been was Beijing. Of course I've been to numerous other places, but these count as the furthest points in direction.
For my first assignment in TAOP, I've booked and planned a trip to Harbin (Ha'erbin) in Heilongjiang province, for a few days, with my mind set on doing the images on a set theme.
At the moment, there is an Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, and I hope to include some night images, but more importantly, the architecture (online research, and The Lonely Planet) is to some extent Russian and Soviet flavoured. And THIS is what I want to capture.
If all goes well, I will depart Suzhou on Monday, 18th Jan 2010, to Shanghai, then to Ha'erbin, returning to Suzhou on Friday 22nd.
The priority on my return is sadly not AOP, but finalizing my images and logbook for DPP, which needs to be at OCA HQ by Feb 15th, so I will need to hurry.
I'm a touch nervous, as I'm not sure I have the right clothes for the trip, since my clothes I brought with me from living in Czech has not survived three years in China. The festival also has hotels booked fully, and if any problems occur, I may find myself without a booked room (even though I've booked and confirmed).
I'm also sure that crime may be higher, because of all the tourists, so I'll just need to keep my eyes open.
Everything ready to be packed after last class tomorrow evening, and having
Isn't that one of Murphy's laws? I was walking to work this afternoon, and it was a cold but beautiful day, with stark bright sunshine, crisp blue sky (after yesterday's snow) and as I walked down the restaurant / food market street near the school (I've never really been down this street in the day time, but I did take some photos here for DPP night shoot), I couldn't help but notice all the wonderful lines of the stacked plates and china, colours of the pigs' face skins and dark hanging smoked ducks, patterns in the boxes and boxes of masses of 'xiao chi' (meaning 'small eats' like dried fruit, nuts and you have no idea what else), shadows and highlights of kitchen utensils lying in the sunshine just delivered from a battered old three wheel bike, textures in the hand made pottery plates and bamboo brushes and the stacks upon stacks of cheap chopsticks!
And I didn't have my camera....
One thing that I really want to do, and I have even prepared the card, but not had the courage to go to a print shop, is to have a name card made with my face and email, and title as 'photography student' to give to people....
Usually people are extremely curious when a foreigner is around, but get very quickly upset when they see you take photos of food or their products.... the reason for this being, that a lot of tourists do get around, but take photos of these 'strange and horrible stuff', and walk away, making faces and sounds that is universal in any language.
This ruins the chance for us who want to capture the beauty of what we see... and I think that if I introduce myself by giving a card first, and then ask, they may strike up a conversation, rather than a defense... It is on my list of things to try, and will see how it pans out.
I've started to process the images I've taken for all the exercises up to As. 1, but all the write-up work still needs to be done as well...
At least I've started! :-)
Yesterday and today were the first real time I got to spend actually shooting for TAOP. Feeling very frustrated with myself for not really beginning yet, last night, I decided to set out, with the camera set on ISO 800, quality as jpg only, and do the horizontal vs vertical exercise towards As. 1.
I know it's totally out of the order of the course, but I felt like doing it... and if you can't do what you want, what is the point, hey?
Last week I, on New Years day, I walked down MoYe Road, and did some late afternoon shots of the ceramics open air market that was set up in the vacant lot near the bridge, where the blue tiled building used to be. I was wondering how it would photograph late evening, when the sellers use lights hanging from wires.
It turned out to be pointless in the evening, as the lights are a mix of energy saving and normal, it throws off the White Balance, and because I couldn't use a smaller aperture, the images were just not nice. But....
I did have a nice walk up and down the stretch from the crossing with ShiQuan street and FengHuang road, both sides of the road, and managed to get a few H vs V images that made me smile. A few shots looked good on the camera, but not good when I got home....
I was set to go and do a shoot today, so this morning I read up all the exercises, summarized them, and set off to JinJi Lake, where I knew I would have the place to myself, there would be strong lines / curves and the grey-blue sky should allow me to capture outdoor images, hopefully not too boring with the greyness, but a least with some nice contrast in direct sunlight.
It was a nice shoot, and I got all the images for the exercises I set out to do. Quite a few of the exercises I ended up re-shooting anyway, as better and better opportunities came along. That is fine with me, as I was just happy to feel like I made a start on the course. I'm looking forward to the As. 1 desperately.
Tomorrow is the start of my work week, so I will not get to the course material again until next week.
At least I managed to shed that heavy feeling of not made a start... it feels quite good!